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Closed Data: Defamation and Privacy Disputes in England and Wales

Townend, J. (2013). Closed Data: Defamation and Privacy Disputes in England and Wales. Journal of Media Law, 5(1), pp. 31-44. doi: 10.5235/17577632.5.1.31


The Coalition Government has prioritised 'open data' as a 'powerful tool' to 'empower citizens', with a 'transparency commitment' to publish more crime and anonymised sentencing data and the Ministry of Justice has set out an open data strategy covering both civil and criminal courts. However, legal researchers frequently encounter inaccessible or 'closed' data, when they attempt to access basic information concerning civil cases. Better-organised and more open information would help inform public debates relating to procedural and substantive civil law - the discussion around libel reform and privacy-related interim injunctions, for example. This paper will argue that a lack of public data about defamation and privacy litigation, indicated by the Impact Assessment for the Defamation Bill 2012 and the report by the Master of the Rolls' Committee on Super-Injunctions in 2011, hampers the policy-making process, public debate and academic research around these issues of public interest.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: Interdisciplinary Centres > Law, Justice & Journalism
The City Law School
SWORD Depositor:
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